Klopp has no fear of Nou Camp hangover

Klopp has no fear of Nou Camp hangover

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp believes his team can put their 3-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona out of mind and focus on winning tonight’s crucial Premier League trip to Newcastle.

Liverpool trail leaders Manchester City by a point heading into the final two games of the Premier League season and the German said there was no need for him to boost his players’ morale after the loss in Spain, in the semi-final, first leg.

“We didn’t need to pick players up in Barcelona and give them a hug. It’s in us.

"If you want to win in football you have to accept that you can lose. I had more positive thoughts about the game than negative because of what we did on the pitch,” said Klopp, who is also not worried about fatigue.

The boys are completely on fire. When you’re in the race, you don’t get tired. We are ambitious like hell.

"All we can do is beat Newcastle and that’s unbelievably difficult, what other teams do on Monday night isn’t our problem,” he said, referring to Manchester City’s home game with Leicester City.

“The performances in recent weeks have been brilliant. Now we need to carry on like this,” he added.

Klopp will be without midfielder Naby Keita who has been ruled out for two months after suffering an adductor injury at the Nou Camp.

Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is back in full training after returning from a year-long injury absence, as a substitute in the 5-0 win over Huddersfield last week.

And it could give Liverpool a boost after the loss of Keita, who will now miss this summer’s African Nations Cup as well.

Klopp, however, refused to be drawn on whether Oxlade-Chamberlain would start at St James’ Park.

“We will see. For sure he will be in the squad and we will decide who starts.” he said. “It was really unlucky (for Keita). Bad news, he has a high grade adductor injury, the tendon is ruptured, which keeps him out for at least two months.

“Bad news for us obviously but bad news for Guinea as well because the Africa Cup of Nations is coming up.

“He was in a really good moment, but that’s how football and life sometimes is. Not too nice but very serious.”

On the role a fit-again Oxlade-Chamberlain could play Klopp added: “Yeah, of course. It is perfect that he is back but for the intensity of the game we will see.

It is very good that Ox is there and for sure he will be in the squad but we have to make a decision who starts. We will use him, of course.

“There is nothing good to say about Naby’s injury but Ox being back is brilliant, yes.”

Klopp also has an injury worry over Roberto Firmino, who was only fit enough for an 11-minute substitute role in the Nou Camp after tearing a thigh muscle in training last week.

The Brazil international is unlikely to be risked at St James’ Park with the crucial second leg at home to Barcelona to come.

Midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum will probably not be asked to perform the false nine role against his former club, although Klopp hit back at the pundits who criticised him for playing a midfielder instead of a striker in the position.

“It was quite a big task. When I told him that he plays the position he was surprised, obviously,” said the manager.

“We needed this kind of player, an offensive player who is quite good in defending as well because we could not ignore the quality of Barcelona.

“I know that people outside (the club) said it was easier to play another striker but there are different jobs to do on the pitch and Gini did really well.

“In a game like this, in a really small space and a completely new position for him — he played it in Holland and maybe at Newcastle — he is the player to do it.

It is not about being this or that, you have to be a football player, you have to be a lot of things and he has this education so he was good, really good.

The German was asked about the possibility of a title playoff game, which would only occur if Liverpool and Manchester City ended the season level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

“Wow, I didn’t think about that to be honest. It would be cool but I don’t think it’s too likely,” he said.

“When would it be? Between the last game and FA Cup or after that? It would fit with the season, a big showdown at high noon somewhere,” he said.

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